Where would you rather park your bike?
An ordinary bike rack? Or a work of art?
For the last few years, students, faculty and staff and visitors to the college have seen many bare walls at Reynolds covered with engaging and thought-provoking colorful art. Now, thanks to the “Go Bike!” Arts Program and the leadership at Reynolds, we all can now also enjoy art outside our campus buildings with the installation of 13 decorative bike racks.
“Go Bike!” Arts Program was a collaborative project by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the City of Richmond. The goal of the project was to decorate Richmond with colorful, functional art for the 2015 UCI World Cycling Championships. Reynolds supported this project and installed the first bike rack at the Downtown Campus before the event. Recently, Reynolds President Dr. Gary Rhodes seized the opportunity to obtain for the college 12 of the original 30 bike racks when they became available. All 13 bike racks are now installed around each of Reynolds three campuses for our enjoyment and use.
“I firmly believe studying the arts or even being surrounded by them – whether visual arts or performing arts – not only helps to develop creativity and imagination, but also helps to develop higher reasoning and problem solving skills . . . all of which transfer to success in study or work”, notes Rhodes. “The arts and weaving them into the fabric of our daily lives, as Reynolds Community College has done, is good for many reasons. It is good for the artists and good for the community, but most of all, it is good for those who have the opportunity to view inspiring images rather than blank walls and empty spaces.”
For example, the bike rack (pictured above) was painted by local artist Reinaldo Alverez. Alverez, a visual artist, and lead singer and lyricist for the well-known local salsa band, Bio Ritmo, has long been a part of the Richmond community. He got involved with GoBike! because he loved bike riding. While growing up he was an avid avid bmx’er, and during his college years his bicycle became his best friend. He was pleased to know his artwork/bike rack had come to live at the Reynolds Downtown Campus, and that possibly other students whose bikes are their best friends may be using it.
Whether you have a bike to park on campus or not, the next time you see one of the decorative bike racks on campus, stop and take a look at it. Take a minute to study one of the pieces and see what the artist might have been thinking when creating it or maybe think about the message he or she is trying to convey through their art. Luckily, here at Reynolds, our bike racks are made for more than holding bikes.
To find out more about art at Reynolds, visit www.reynolds.edu/art.